Spring is in the air, and the seasons are changing again – but, for some of us, the light-weight feeling of the year’s first warm season just isn’t catching on. If your propensity to worry tends to take over every season, Martha Beck has put together a list of ten things that you can cut loose – and never worry about again.
She writes that,
There are many areas in which I need encouragement, but worrying is not one of them. I worry the way Renée Fleming sings high Cs: Effortlessly. Loudly. At length. You may be similarly gifted, because worrying comes easily to a certain subpopulation of humans, namely those of us with pulses. We’re constantly creating new, worry-based strategies for living.
But worrying is worrisome: It’s stressful, and as we all know, stress will kill you. I worry about that a lot. So today I’m striking a tiny blow for sanity with my list of ten things you can officially stop worrying about.
Her list was particularly helpful to me and so, without further adieu, I give you 10 things you never have to worry about again:
- What’s on your plate
Beck suggests dropping into full engagement with whatever you’re doing, instead of fretting about getting everything done. “Why not simply accept that being alive means having things to do?” she writes.
- Needing help
Moving from rejecting help to recognizing our – daily – need for it, involves realizing that our “crutches” often aren’t harmful, but necessary for enjoying our lives.
- Your children
Beck writes that, “worry just teaches worry.” Beyond that, worrying about your children never gave you any more control over them than you had in the first place.
- Your appearance
Instead of obsessing about your own appearance, Beck suggests complimenting others – something that will make you less self conscious and make them adore you (which is what we all were hoping for, with our perfect looks – right?).
- What you own
Changing your perspective on what you own is a process of seeing people as more important than things – and, with it, the importance of having happy memories around you, instead of pristine pieces of china.
- Everything you’re doing wrong
“I love the Buddhist concept of enlightenment as living without anxiety over imperfection,” Beck writes. “You can strain every fiber of your being trying to be flawless, only to face inevitable failure—or you can stop worrying about perfection, which instantly makes everything feel great.”
- The past
Beck likens fixating on the past to grabbing our own histories by the throat, and cutting off the flow of physical and emotional energy that keeps us fully alive. She suggests that the way to bring energy back is to look forward.
- What people are saying about you right this very second
Beck suggests pretending you’re a martian, gathering data on humans. She writes, “as you notice what they do and say without focusing on your fear of their opinions, you’ll feel less self-conscious, and they’ll feel the nonjudgmental attention they’ve always wanted from you.”
- Your account balance
Going about your business without worrying allows you to focus all your energy on what’s in front of you, regardless if its paying off today – or in a few months.
Letting go of your worries is a gradual process that involves remembering you’re not perfect, and you’re not going to be (ever) – even when it comes to remembering not to worry.
What do you plan on letting go of worrying about, this week?